Pope's Latinist pronounces death of a language


I posted this in the ‘Traditional Catholicism’ forum, but am reposting here as I think it applies in general to the liturgy.

I came across this article today in a British newspaper:

Pope’s Latinist pronounces death of a language

On one hand, I have to like the priest for his dedication to teaching Latin. However, here is a pertinent quote:

"He said reports that Pope Benedict will reintroduce the Tridentine Mass, which dates from 1570 and is largely conducted in Latin, were wrong – not least because of the Pope’s desire to avoid more controversies. A speech last year offended Muslims and more recently he gave initial support to a Polish archbishop who was eventually forced to resign, after admitting that he had collaborated with the communist-era secret police.

“He is not going to do it,” Fr Foster said. “He had trouble with Regensberg, and then trouble in Warsaw, and if he does this, all hell will break loose.” In any case, he added: “It is a useless mass and the whole mentality is stupid. The idea of it is that things were better in the old days. It makes the Vatican look medieval.”


My question, setting aside for the moment my utter disagreement with his comments on the Tridentine Mass and my hope that the Pope will loosen restrictions on it, is this: How do you keep Latin alive without the traditional Latin Mass? If Bishops and Priests do not have to use Latin in the liturgy, then what will prompt them to study it? I suppose that is one of the aspects of this priest’s comments I don’t understand. On one hand, he stresses the importance of keeping Latin alive, and then turns around and bashes the one liturgy that might help do that (I don’t think we’re going to get a lot of priests celebrating the Novus Ordo in Latin).


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